Charity spotlight: First Tee of the Ozarks

First Tee of the Ozarks is a great way for inner-city youths from all over the country to learn golf in southwest Missouri.
First Tee of the Ozarks is a great way for inner-city youths from all over the country to learn golf in southwest Missouri.

Each summer, more than 6,500 inner-city youth, who may never have been exposed to the great sport of golf, come through the gates at Kids Across America Kamps on the shores of Table Rock Lake near Golden.

The kids range in age from 9 to 18 and, as they arrive from all parts of the country, they are treated to a week of summer camp in southwest Missouri, where golf is one of many opportunities for them to engage.

“The best part for me is that golf is one of those few sports that helps a kid learn how to handle life’s tough situations,” said Mark Parry, director of The First Tee of the Ozarks, a part of the Payne Stewart Memorial golf facility at Kids Across America. “It teaches honesty and integrity. You have to call penalties on yourself. There are just a lot of inherent life skills that come with playing golf and we love exposing our kids to those great lessons.”

First Tee of the Ozarks relies on fundraising, and the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper is proud to support the cause. The tournament, part of the PGA Tour’s annual Web.com Tour stop in Springfield, has generated almost $13 million for children’s charities in its 26-year history. And here is your chance to assist again.

About First Tee of the Ozarks

Following a tragic plane accident in October 1999 that took the life of renowned professional golfer Payne Stewart, his widow, Tracey, selected KAA to permanently construct the Payne Stewart Memorial Golf & Leadership Complex.

Tracey selected KAA because the desire to impact kids and the love of golf were dear to the heart of both she and Payne. She recognized that the urban kids in America ‘s cities grow more desperate every day and was able to witness first hand the dramatic impact that KAA makes on them. This amazing addition has provided the perfect setting at KAA to introduce urban campers to the game of golf.

RISING STARS, RAISING HOPES

  • BUSINESS SPONSORSHIPS: Businesses also can support the PCCC through various sponsorships. Buy a Skybox and sit on the 9th and 18th greens as the Web.com Tour pros march through Highland Springs Country Club. Or use the tournament to promote your business with large banners hung in highly visible areas. We also offer several events such as a dozen Pro-Ams. Businesses also can donate a gift card with at least a $25 value in the name of your charity of choice to benefit them in the Golf Ball & Charity Auction presented by Copy Products, Inc. and University Plaza.The Ultimate
  • WIN A NEW TRUCK: The purchase of a $25 TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes ticket can win one of 500 daily gift cards as well as grand prizes of $10,000 and a 2016 Ford F-150 XLT. It’s also good for a four-day tournament pass.Win this truck
  • SEE THE FUTURE OF THE PGA TOUR: The PCCC is from Aug. 5-15, with the pros beginning play on Aug. 11 at Highland Springs Country Club. For tickets or other ways to assist, call the Price Cutter Charity Championship staff at 417-887-3400.

    Dawie vander Walt shows his winners trophy after the final round of the Price Cutter Charity Championship at Highland Springs Country Club in Springfield on August 16, 2015.
    Dawie vander Walt won the 2015 PCCC. (Photo courtesy of StidzMedia.)

 

Thanks to First Tee of the Ozarks, inner-city youths get opportunities to play & learn golf

First Tee of the Ozarks is a great way for inner-city youths from all over the country to learn golf in southwest Missouri.
First Tee of the Ozarks is a great way for inner-city youths from all over the country to learn golf in southwest Missouri. They are part of the PCCC.

For inner-city youths who may never have been exposed to the great sport of golf – and who may not be able to afford to play — there is The First Tee of the Ozarks.

Imagine this: From the first week of June until the first week of August, urban youth from all across America are treated to a one-week course here in southwest Missouri as they learn everything about the sport – from how to tee off, putt, which clubs to use and so forth. If they love it, great.

If not, that’s OK, just as long as they are on the Payne Stewart Memorial Golf & Leadership Complex.

“The best part for me is that golf is one of those few sports – the best sport – about how to handle life’s tough situations,” said Mark Parry, director of The First Tee of the Ozarks, a part of the Kids Across America facility near Golden. “It teaches honesty and integrity. You have to call penalties on yourself. There are just a lot of inherent lessons that come with playing golf.”

First Tee of the Ozarks relies on fundraising, and the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper is proud to support the cause. The tournament, part of the PGA Tour’s annual Web.com Tour stop in Springfield, has generated almost $12 million for children’s charities in its 25-year history. That includes a record $1 million-plus last year alone.

SUPPORTING THE PCCC = SUPPORTING CHARITIES

Buy a $25 TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes ticket and all the money goes to your favorite charity -- and you also could win this 2015 Ford Mustang.
Buy a $25 TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes ticket and all the money goes to your favorite charity — and you also could win this 2015 Ford Mustang.
  • HELP THE FIRST TEE OF THE OZARKS: To help the non-profit in any way, visit its website through KidsAcrossAmerica.org, where you can make a donation.
  • FOR GOLF FANS, WIN PRIZES: The purchase of a $25 TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes ticket serves as a four-day tournament pass, but it’s better than that. It enters you to win daily prizes during the tournament as well as grand prizes of $10,000 and a 2015 Ford Mustang.
  • TICKET REVENUE GOES WHERE: Contact the local charity of your choice, simply because they receive revenue directly from those TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes tickets marked with their names.
  • BUSINESS SPONSORSHIPS: Businesses can support the PCCC through various sponsorships, such as the daily newsletter, website or through several events such as a dozen Pro-Ams. Additionally, restaurants, clothing stores and entertainment stops and such are asked to donate a gift card with at least a $25 value in the name of your charity of choice to benefit them in the Golf Ball Charity Auction.
  • WHEN, WHERE: The tournament is Aug. 7-17 at Highland Springs Country Club, with the pros beginning play Aug. 13. Contact the PCCC staff at 417-887-3400.

About First Tee of the Ozarks

FirstTee-2

The First Tee of the Ozarks, which brings in children ages 9 to 18 every summer, is part of the Kids Across America in Golden, Mo., on the western side of Table Rock Lake.

Its roots date to 1978, when Joe White of Kanakuk Kamps, the largest family of Christian sports camps in America, began offering the last week of summer camp to serve the camping needs of urban youth.

The I’m Third Foundation, a 501 c3 non-profit, emerged and eventually the demand for a camp dedicated to serving urban youth and inner-city adult leaders became so great that the first Kids Across America Kamp was built.

It was completed in 1991 and, in 1995, KAA 2 was opened. The number of youth people and inner-city leaders served has grown every year. The demand led to the opening of a leadership training camp called Higher Ground in 1998, and a fourth camp, KAA 3, in the summer of 2001.

In September 2000, the foundation was renamed the Kids Across America Foundation, whose website spells out its mission this way: “God first, others second and I’m third.”

Parry, a Texas transplant, runs First Tee of the Ozarks. He teaches the kids in a lot of creative ways even before they hit the golf course.